There are a couple of things that I think you should know first...
- I am a type A personality.
- I like having a place for (just about) everything.
- Back in college I worked in a retail store and loved sizing and organizing the clothes at the end of the night. I dreamed about someday owning a folding board in my own home (they've evolved a little to look like this.)
Then reality hit.
I became a mom.
I witnessed a friend with seven kids do her laundry. She piled all of her clean laundry into one big pile and then the kids and her got to work tossing and sorting it all into individual baskets.
Honestly, the first time I saw it I was shocked. What?!?! You don't FOLD your kid's laundry?
During those days I spent most of nap time catching up on the chores and folding my one child's plethora of little pajamas.
Then our family expanded to five kids. Suddenly, my friend's system was the only thing that kept me continuing to do the laundry during that crazy first year.
We've adapted her system based on our space and family dynamics (you can read all about our non-glamorous, super efficient laundry system here.) However, just in case you too are shocked at the thought of not folding your children's laundry let me try to persuade you... ;-)
1) It is a Time Saver: If I had to wash, sort and FOLD seven plus loads of laundry per week, then I think I might loath my kids wearing clothes all together. No one would be allowed outside for fear of grass stained shorts and muddy shirts and the hours that it would take me to do all of that laundry.
2) Kid's Clothes Don't Really Stay Folded Very Well Anyway: I've tried folding my son's 2T jeans before and it just isn't meant to happen. My middle son's 5T shirts don't stay folded very well either. Not to mention that by the time the clothes got carried up two flights of stairs it would probably look like no one had even tried anyway.
3) They Would Be Wrecked The Very Next Day: In order for my kids to get dressed independently in the morning that means that they are going to rummage through their own drawers to find something to wear. In one fell swoop (even if I did fold their laundry) I am certain that their drawers would still look like this by the very next day.
4) Each child has different personalities and that is actually what I love about each of my children: I do have a few children that like to fold their clothes at times. I encourage them to do so if they want to. However, I also realize that having a messy shirt drawer is totally ok for my kids who aren't going to necessarily be as organized as their mother. I'm trying to teach them that their drawers don't have to be all put together and that there are things that matter more...like having happy hearts.
5) I actually find JOY in doing the laundry and don't dread the necessary task: I enjoy keeping up on cleaning the clothes. However, I am convinced that if I were forced to fold every piece of clothing in our house I might never do anything else or enjoy anything else for that matter.
6) Nobody has complained to me that my kids look unkempt: And that my friends is the best part. Because I started asking myself...Why would I ever go back to folding my kid's laundry with all of the time that I am saving by doing it this way? Especially if nobody has noticed the difference. :-)